Wednesday, July 23, 2014

the unexpected inadequate life lesson on a massage table

{I am feeling very inadequate about how to share my feelings and of how to write this blog post but I am going to give it a go and hope that it makes sense. We are all inadequate right?}


One treat I gave myself over the past month was to get a body massage.

It turned out to be an experience that provided me with a valuable and totally unexpected life lesson.

One that I am grateful for and will carry with me each day I am struggling with the madness in my mind.

So imagine I am exhausted, weary and worn out with the mess going on in my head.

I decide to give myself a gift - a body massage to connect with myself, to try to give myself some time out, to relax and to help myself feel special.

In theory this is a good plan to help someone feeling depressed.

However, once I found myself actually lying on the massage table, my mind immediatley began going crazy.

My mind screams that allowing someone to touch my overweight body is a really, really bad idea.

I realise that sadly this experience is not going to be easy to get through.

The lights dim, the music starts to play and instead of relaxing, my mind comes alive.

Like, really alive. It races, it speeds and it is like a radio turned up on full volume. Blasting at me.

My mind begins racing with thoughts of how unfit I am, how much weight I have put on recently and of how I haven’t done a very good job of taking care of myself.

I think of the lady massaging me and imagine what she is thinking about me.

None of it is positive.

I lay there and instead of enjoying the moment mentally tear myself apart.

Then I hear a loud crash.

The lady massaging me knocks over the bottles of lotion on the bench next to the massage bed.

The noise causes a break in my thoughts. They shatter.

She apologises.

My thoughts turn to her. I imagine her criticising herself for her actions.

I see and sense her feeling inadequate.

I smile. We are now both feeling the same way.

Consumed by our own inadequacy.

I relax and the massage continues.

I enjoy the quiet, the lotions, the smells and the music.

The lady moves down to massage my legs.

My mind screams at me. I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs.

The mental bashing begins again.

When it becomes the loudest in my mind....

I hear a loud sneeze. {It wasn’t me!}

My thoughts scatter.

She aplogizes once again.

I imagine her criticising herself.

I laugh out loud.

We are both once again caught up in our inadequacy.

I return to relaxing and telling my mind that nobody cares about the last time I shaved my legs.

I lay there on the massage table and realise that no matter how much I struggle with how inadequate I feel and actually am, everyone else around me feels that exact same way for different reasons.

We all struggle with how inadequate we are in our own ways.

Accepting that we all inadequate is a great stepping stone to accepting my own personal inadequacies.

I felt that I had taken a giant leap in my mind, that the journey of self healing had begun.

Where I thought I would be comforted and find relief physically by having a massage, I actually found comfort and relief mentally and emotionally.

It was a life lesson I needed to learn and to be reminded.

Monday, July 21, 2014

mental maintenance

Hello. It has been a long time since my last blog post and the only explanation I have for such a long break is that I have not been well. Mentally not well. Which is so, so hard to type and admit. It is like admiting you have failed.

After all the time, effort, therapies, money, reading, writing, experimenting, soul searching and praying it is absolutley heartbreaking and soul crushing to be at this place. This place of darkness and despair.

This place of total confusion of ‘WHO AM I' and ‘YOU HAVE LET SO MANY PEOPLE DOWN’ and ‘YOU FAILED BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT STRONG ENOUGH’ and ‘YOU ARE NOT WORTH THE FIGHT’ that I know is so not true and yet it consumes ALL my thoughts daily.

That place and horrible hole of dark depression that sucks you in, pulls you down and no matter how hard you try to climb your way out you just can’t seem to make any progress because for some unexplainable reason all the good or kind thoughts you have ever had about yourself have gone!

They are unreachable, they don’t exist and even if someone else tries to say them to you, you still can’t hear them or feel them or believe them.

Yes. It has come to that.

Being mentally not well scares people around you and I have to admit it scares me too.

There is so much ‘darkness’ swirling around my mind that it requires a lot of effort just to get through each day.

BUT, even though I feel this way, over the last couple of months I have found some hope.
A way to help myself live and function with the mental maintenance that is required.

I have been working hard on healing and helping myself and really haven’t had time to do much else.
I have found something that works for me and I am putting all my time and energy into making it work.

I don’t know if I have very much to give right now as far as my blog is concerned or as far as trying to uplift people who like to read it but I thought I would try getting back into writing because I love it, I miss it and writing out my thoughts helps me to connect with my heart.

I need more of that heart connection in my life and less connection with those thoughts that try to confuse me.

So here I am with shaking hands, back where I feel at home. Back to my creative place.

I am getting out of bed each day, doing my hair, putting on makeup, wearing an excessive amount of large flowers and jewellery on my clothing, spending way too much time talking to myself in my own mind, trying not to listen to what other people want me to do and try, spending way too much time on Instagram and soaking up the love of my children.

Each day is hard, difficult and exhausting right now.
Thankfully, each day I am slowly getting better.

The mental maintenance is getting easier.

I am starting to feel stronger and I am starting to find myself again.
Or as I have done so many times before, I am become better at creating a new self again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Different Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day was very different for me. I spend the whole day in bed sick participating in a very unpleasant coughing festival. Which sadly is still going! Even though I was feeling terrible it was actually one of the best Mother's Days I have ever had. I think it was because my day was very simple and there was no pressure to make it spectacular from anyone in the family because I really wasn't up to it. My day was really relaxed and I enjoyed spending time with my family.

As I was sick this year I also had plenty of time to lay in bed and ponder over what a wonderful gift being a mother to my children has been in my life. It has changed me as a person, there is no doubt about that. I have become far more compassionate, caring, kind, loving, passionate, motivated, determined, charitable and more fun since my seven cherubs have come into my life. They have taught me so much about unconditional love and about getting up each day and simply trying to be the best you can be.

I normally don't ask or expect any gifts for Mother's Day. The only thing that I love to get from each of my cherubs is a Mother's Day card. I love to read what they have to say and I love to see the drawings that they create for me. That is what really touches my heart and is the one thing that I look forward to each year. I thought I would share a few precious moments with you.

I love that Nathan gave me this quote in a frame. It made me laugh so hard. He also gave me the most darling card that made me cry. The big ugly kind of cry. Love that boy!

I love that Liberty gave me this drawing. You know, some days I worry that I come across as too busy, or too depressed or even too sad as a mother trying to keep up with everything that is required of me. When I saw this drawing from Liberty it put my heart at ease. It was a source of comfort and in a way a confirmation that I am doing alright. The picture is so colourful and I look so happy that it made my eyes water.

Eli wrote in a card that 'I love it when you look in my eyes' and Harmony made me these rainbow loom hearts to hang on the end of my pens next to my bed. So now I can work on writing more with heart. 

Another reason that this year was a very different Mother's Day is that this is the first time that I have been eating Vegetarian. Normally Matt will make a roast for dinner and this year he was really stuck for an idea of what to make. Eventually he settled upon making a vegetarian lasanga which the whole family sat down to eat. I was impressed! I also was served up this awesome salad for lunch:

At the end of the night as we sat around the dinner table all of my cherubs and Matt shared why they love me. They slowly worked their way around the table and shared what they love about me as a person and as a Mum. Oh my heart! Some words were so touching and some words were hilarious! It was one of those moments you keep in your heart and treasure forever. 

As a surprise to all of us Liberty fell asleep in my bed at 6pm. She was so kind and helpful to me all day. It must have been hard work though as it totally wore her out!

Friday, May 9, 2014

When you get sick as a Mum

Right now I have the worst head cold ever. The worst. I am sick. Not sick as in I need to go to hosptial or I have some life threatening illness. Just sick. Which sucks.

It is kind of a 'middle sickness' where you still need to drag yourself out of bed and keep the house running and it is not the 'I am so sick that people need to come over and help me out' kind of sickness.

This kind of 'middle sickness' as I call it sucks. It is easy to feel sorry for yourself because you have to keep going when you really don't want to and it is the kind of sickness where nobody in your family really cares. Or at least it generally feels that way!

Now I know there are many, many people who are very, very sick and deal with the challenge of how to take care of their families whilst living with an illness on a daily basis. Life is simply not fair for them. I know that. I also know that there are many, many single mum's who battle with keeping a family running whilst not feeling well too. They are true superwomen in my eyes. Super women!

This blog post is not for them. I wouldn't dare say I know what it is like to live their life and I wouldn't dare give them any advice or tips.

What I know about is what life is like with a large family and having days where you just don't feel well. It kind of fits into the 'first world problem' category and people may think it is pathetic that I am even writing about this topic but it is part of life and very common for many families and it is still difficult to get through the day. It really is.

The days are extremely long and the nights can be even longer when you can't get to sleep because your head cold is keeping you up at night and if this goes on for a week you are a complete mess by the end of it. Well, at least I am anyway!

At times like this I don't look for sympathy from my family. I just don't. I know I will be disppointed if I do. I will feel upset and then sink into an even worse pitty party for myself feeling like nobody cares.

My kids are kids. They are busy and very caught up in what is happening in their own life. I know they care about me and they do show they care in little ways but I don't expect them to take over running my whole house. It would be nice but I don't expect it.

For example, this morning I stayed in bed a little longer to rest some more as I have now lost my voice and have a fever and when I went downstairs I found my kitchen looks like a bomb went off. Seriously. Instead of bursting into tears I tell myself to just let it go. This is not normal. It is not what normally happens in our home.

{I also know that my kids wouldn't normally make this much mess except today we had school excursions, about 15 cooking supplies that needed to be taken to school, Mother's Day craft supplies needed and my kids made their own lunch boxes for me this morning. All of this equals mess.}

To make life easier for myself I try to let go of everything that is not important. I let go of the housework that can wait, I let go of appointments that can be changed, I put off washing that doesn't need to be done for a couple of days, I don't reply to emails, I don't reply to phone calls and I simply focus on getting as much rest as I can.

I know that I can't take care of my family if I am not taking care of myself. As much as I want to do it all and keep up with it all, I know I simply can't when my health is not what it should be.

Another way I help myself is by letting my children play more than normal, I let them watch television more than normal and I let them help themselves to food more than normal. I do this so that I can have more time to rest. I tell myself that as long as they are safe and busy then they won't come to me for food or questions and I can rest better.

I also make sure my children know that this is only happening because I am not feeling well. Otherwise they will be asking for this kind of freedom (especially with the television) all the time.

Often this results in more mess. Hello! Messy Kitchen! BUT I know in a couple of days I can get back on track. I can tackle the mess and I can do so with a much healthier body and clearer mind.

It is also at these moments that having a couple of meals in the freezer becomes a great blessing. Pulling out an already made meal is a wonderful gift to give yourself when you are not well.

Over the years I have had many days where I have been sick and had to pull myself out of bed to take care of my family. I have camped out on the lounge and watched endless episodes of Dora or The Wiggles with my children.

I have cried in the shower over how hard it has been some days, I have slammed doors because I felt so frustrated that I simply could not get any rest and I have prayed that I could have the strength to just make it to the end of the day without falling apart.

Like this week whilst I have been sick and my husband has been away.

Being a mum and being sick is hard. Feeling sorry for yourself along the way doesn't help anybody. I have learnt that lesson and it was a hard lesson to learn. Now I just get up out of bed and do the best I can.

Some days it is enough and some days I fall short in a big way. But I get up. I pull myself together and try to be there for my family. I know if it was my children sick or even my husband things would be different.

Wasting time comparing myself to them and how they get to rest when they are sick only equals misery. Things are simply not the same when a Mum get's sick. It isn't fair but I have accepted it is the way it is. Now I just try to get through it as best I can and hope that I don't get sick very often!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

my crew. my gang. my heart.

This is my crew. My gang. My heart. My family.
The crazy, hilarious, gorgeous, inspiring bunch of people I hang out with every day.

Whilst hanging out together on this sunny but freezing day I stepped away to get a better look.
To give myself a new perspective. To see them as other people do when they walk past.

I tried to imagine what people might think.  
I tried to see what we really look like.

The problem was that I couldn't do it. I could only see what my heart felt.
I looked at my cherubs and simply smiled. Then I laughed.

I love these people so much. I can't really put how I feel into words.
There are so many different feelings and emotions. So many experiences and memories.

It is kind of an un-describable love.